Now, believe me, I’m not suggesting you should have a wall of Proscuitti in your pantry but there’s something definitely reassuring about a well stocked larder or pantry cupboard!
For me, seeing the beauty of shelves lined with homemade jams, jellies and relishes is a sight to behold. The jewel like reds, purples and golds with light shining on them reminds me of stained glass windows. I’ve memories of sitting on the back porch in late summer, peeling pears for a chutney that will be redolent with the scent of spices, filling the kitchen with it’s fragrance; to be served during the long days of winter. But, let’s face it not too many people these days have much time available to either make things like this or the desire to do so. It’s just something I enjoy doing.
Just knowing you’ve got some supplies in the pantry, that’s been stocked, is such a relief, knowing when you come home from a long day, or you just didn’t feel like going shopping, you can raid your storage cupboard filled with a treasure trove of goodies.
Because I love cooking Italian foods, our pantry would not be “ours” if it didn’t hold lots of tinned Italian plum tomatoes and mega packages of dried Italian pasta. Actually, the amount of dried pasta we keep on hand is kind of embarrassing but I’ve got a good explanation! Different sauces require different shapes…simple, right! We always keep tinned fish and beans on hand, not to mention a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano, pancetta and Italian sausages in the freezer, garlic and onions, not to mention the tin of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Simply thinking about the types of things one likes to cook and stocking up of those ingredients that could be kept on hand, depending on storage space, makes things so much easier; believe me. I know of people who decide to make a particular dish for dinner that evening and start running around at 5 pm trying to assemble the ingredients; doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Not only that, by the time I’d come home I’d probably be exhausted and too tired to start making anything! Well…it doesn’t have to be like that once you have a plan of the things you’d like to keep on hand. Have fun hunting and gathering!
A tip that works beautifully for me is keeping a notepad in a kitchen drawer so that I can write down an item as it gets low.